in Black and White
by Brian Wilson: (Reality)
in The Blade Jan. 8 (and counting) is called Yellow Journalism.
There are multiple definitions, even a history for the term, but
the best and most appropriate is found at Wikipedia:
journalism [is] a type of journalism that presents little or no
legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching
headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations
of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension,
Yellow Journalism is used today as a pejorative to
decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or
describes The Blades concerted attempt to pass off
as news, first on its website, sometimes splashing above-the-fold-complete-with-color-picture
headlines such as WSPD host compares TPS students, monkeys;
Wilson denies racism. The Blade has printed more than
4,500 words to incite civil rights leaders, community leaders and
readers into believing I made racist comments, that I compared TPS
students to monkeys. It never happened; I never said it. Amazingly
unnoticed, unreported and unremarked is that race was
never any component of my commentary. Race only became an issue
when inserted via the jaundiced opinions of Blade political
writer Tom Troy and the editors of The Blade. They did it
purposefully, with malice.
The only complete,
objective and accurate account can be found in Toledo Free Press
Editor in Chief Michael S. Millers Jan. 16 column, Monkey
As the story
unraveled, TFP readers and WSPD listeners learned The Blades
yellow print had zero to do with TPS students, monkeys or racism.
More noteworthy were the Herculean efforts by Troy, some other scribbling
wannabes and their co-conspiring editors to blatantly finesse members
of the African-American community, including Mayor Mike Bell, into
providing substance for their pre-written headline blaring
community outrage. Manipulating the opinion of readers
is standard with every issue of The Blade.
But there is
a greater scandal and bigger problem for Toledoans than The Blades
reporters, columnists, editors and Pittsburgh-based publishers
serial raping of facts and sodomizing of truth. It is the Pavlovian
reaction of too many citizens some in so-called leadership
roles to swallow whole the mistruths, half-truths and
outright lies regularly featured in the daily paper.
by TFP reporting, none of those who had their outrage
quoted by The Blade had actually heard my comments in real time,
only the 14 second outtake Troy schlepped around town, trolling
for indignity and insult. Quoting Miller: So unless you heard
the comment live (which apparently none of the quoted leaders did),
or caught it overnight during the Web streaming repeat of the broadcast,
your only source for the content was The Blades
race-baiting reporting. (Italics added). Not to be
overemphasized is the fact WSPD received no complaints from any
source as a result of my comments until The Blades
How could these
people especially community leaders not
know the perpetual motives of The Blade and its Myrmidons
and its rich history of abusing the First Amendment to carry out
vendettas against those who dare challenge its decades of control
and influence over Toledo and its citizens?
Since the quoted
parties knee-jerked in unison responding to The Blades
race-baiting, is it a scandal of ignorance or a scandal of fear?
Could these community leaders really be that functionally
illiterate like too many TPS graduates to not suspect
an ulterior motive when presented with a sensational quote
supplied by a reporter for a paper with such a notorious reputation?
Or just as malignant, do they live in fear of not providing a juicy
quote, possibly incurring the wrath of The Blades well-known
retribution? Either way, the best interests of Toledo citizens
and students were not served by their comments. Some were
offended, yes because they allowed themselves to be manipulated
by the mis- and dis-information manufactured by The Blade.
And here lies
the problem: On cue, everyone bought the snake oil Troy was selling
and promptly provided their predictable reactions. More embarrassing
for the community, even when presented with the facts by the TFP,
TPS Superintendent Jerome Pecko, TPS Board President Bob Vasquez,
TPS Board Vice President Lisa Sobecki and past president of TPS
Parent Congress Chris Varwig adamantly preferred The Blades
distortion to truth.
of objectivity does this send to parents and students? All are part
of the TPS problem that has been the focus of WSPD programming,
which has diligently and accurately exposed years
of scholastic failure of Toledo public schools, the fiscal irresponsibility
of the Board, the financial millstone of TFT Union contracts, the
adolescent infighting of its members and the shoddy treatment of
parents and public. Could it be their breathless indignation served
as a convenient smokescreen to their culpability surrounding the
real issue of administrative malfeasance at TPS? Is incompetence
how elected leaders lead by example?
To date, after
also being presented with the full text and content of my comments,
TPS board member Larry Sykes and NAACP President Rev. Kevin Bedford
have not publicly clarified their position.
Sadly for Toledo,
these are your leaders, drum majors for Ineptitude On
Parade, charged with administering public education for Toledo,
hiding behind a man-made smoke screen of lies and deceit. With these
examples, only the willfully obtuse could not understand why dysfunctional
modifies TPS so well.
in TFP, Bell, Greater Toledo Urban Leagues John Jones
and others who initially demanded apologies, my termination, even
FCC sanctions, subsequently acknowledged they had reacted only to
an edit provided by Troy.
public information officer for the City of Toledo, told TFP,
[The mayors] statement was in direct response to the
portion of audio he was provided by The Blade. That
portion of audio was the 14 seconds Troy surgically
removed to rile his reliable stable of respondents.
milk-spitting episode is the recent arrival of a Jan.
23 letter to TFPs Miller from the perpetrator himself.
Alternating between irrational and fallacious,
Troy makes a limp eight-point attempt to parse Millers critical
Monkey Business column, selectively objecting to the
damning evidence. Around No. 5, Troy revs up:
Wilson is the one that threw out the monkey reference. Hes
a professional. He knows what the word connotes when hes
talking about how to teach students in Toledo Public Schools.
he is deaf, delusional or both with his selective listening techniques.
When exposed in print, they reveal The Blades witch-hunt
mentality. Fact: the monkey-student connection, generated
exclusively by Troy, lives on in the dank recesses of his prejudice.
In my on-air discussion with Jones (podcast
at WSPD.com), he and others had no problem making the distinction
contrary to Troys ugly fantasy.
achieves liftoff: Anyway, it was a bad analogy. Monkeys dont
need to be taught to peel bananas. They do it instinctively, like
swinging on vines. Its not a parlor trick. Teaching dogs to
walk on their hind legs or dolphins to balance a beach ball on their
noses would be parlor tricks, and would have made Wilsons
point without the egregious offensiveness or at least less
offensively. But no, we have to go with monkeys.
With a keen sense for the obvious, again Troy (un)wittingly shares
his condescending elitist mentality alongside his dearth of reporters
objectivity. He anoints himself judge and jury of good/bad
analogies, lecturing on animal instincts and what constitutes his
personal preferences for less offensive point making.
I am very proud of The Blades handling of this story
and of my own part in it, Troy wrote.
Wow. Are you
ready to renew your Blade subscription?
My friend Thomas
Sowell wrote: The most basic question is not what is best,
but who shall decide what is best.
Who do you
want to decide? You or Tom Troy and the bigoted Blade?
the takeaway? Since this originally only concerned the
efficacy of TPS teaching standards, has The Blades systemic
lying, intentional smearing and flat-out unapologetic admission
taught us anything?
For one, there
is an obvious prejudicial rush to judgment imbedded
in Toledo, its politicians and what passes for journalists
at the local daily and certain area TV news departments. Coupled
with that is a daunting paucity of intellectual curiosity about
most anything that remotely challenges the stultifying ignorance
of too many area leaders. Those revealed in this latest
Blade fiction should remember the words of another friend, author
James Bovard: A surplus of lies naturally produces a deficit
Is this what
you want for Toledo?
On a positive
note, more and more Toledoans are to be congratulated for learning
the lessons about The Blade as it shrinks in size, content
and relevance. Theyve discovered a multitude of better sources
for their news needs along the Information Highway.
As evidenced by this sordid event, there is the Toledo Free Press
and, dare I say, 1370 AM WSPD; both have news departments devoted
to factual accuracy, adherence to the principles of journalism and
a shared concern for improving the quality of life in the Toledo
may occasionally rankle but facts are not altered or comments
yanked out of context.
And, by the
way, theyre both free.
with permission from the Toledo
Wilson [send him mail],
nationally ignored talk show host and occasional LRC un-indicted
co-contributor, is currently annoying miniscule audiences in a number
of markets from his technically challenged studios safely outside
the dictatorship of Toledo. Brian may be endured from 3p–6p at www.wspd.com.
© 2011 Toledo
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